Date Night

So my wife and I are on a date. Please bear in mind that I work nights, and we have teenagers, so the date night does not come around as often as we would like. Well, as often as I would like. I can’t speak for my wife.

Burnt-orange peel

We walk in to a fairly hip (I’m no longer a good judge of that) place to have a cocktail. As we enter, the first thing I see is a completely tattoo-covered, neck bearded bartender lighting a piece of orange peel over a drink with his Bic lighter (I hear you can get a completely different effect if you use a Zippo lighter or a match instead), who then proceeded to shake two drinks at the same time in perfectly symmetrical figure eights.

It was like a 21st century ballet. A bar ballet. Determined not to react to what I saw, and wanting to make sure I didn’t ruin my wife’s night out, I just looked down at the ground without a visible reaction. Now, I have expressed in the past how I feel about the whole craft/artisan cocktail movement:

Not this time

I am not going to be the crabby old man this time, I tell myself. It’s a new year, after all, and there’s that whole new year’s resolution thing…

No sooner had I told myself this when we were greeted by a very sweet and charming employee of the restaurant. She shows us to a table and before I have a chance to ask my wife what she was in the mood for, another equally sweet and charming server is there serving us water and asking if there is anything he can get us.

No attitude, just good service

I don’t believe I have mentioned this yet, but we were in southeast Portland. Don’t these employees know what customers are expecting at these places?

I just loved watching the staff in action. Every one of them working hard, and enjoying it. At least pretending to. Remember, if you are having a good time, the customers will too.

I love it when I am wrong

I watched as every member of the staff helped each other out. I even asked someone if they pooled tips, because they were all doing everything for every one. It turns out they didn’t, but you would never know it with the way they were all helping each other tend to customers’ needs.

There is plenty of joy to be had in just doing a good job. That often is its own reward. This place was an example of that. They know they are good, have no attitude about it, and just put their heads down and do good work.

I have consulted with many clients and I visit this theme often with them. Hire people who are going to enjoy their work, and at the same time, work hard.

What do I know?

I often complain on this blog about the attitude and behavior of restaurant employees in Portland. This experience served (ooh, a restaurant pun), as a reminder to those who want good service when they go out, and might want to start by being nice first. Way to go unnamed bar/restaurant in southeast Portland!






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